A worker at the Meliadine gold mine, 25 km north of Rankin Inlet, presumptively tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, according to Agnico Eagle.

One Meliadine mine worker is suspected to have contracted Covid-19 and 15 others have been determined to have been in contact with the individual. All are being flown south on special or charter flights.
photo courtesy of Agnico Eagle

Fifteen people are known to have had contact with this individual. All of them are being transported south on special or charter flights, the mining company stated in Tuesday news release.

The remainder of the individuals who were on the same flight from Mirabel airport in Quebec have been cleared to return to work because the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer has concluded that the risk of contagion is very low, according to Agnico Eagle.

“Upon arriving at the mine site, employees from the Sept. 28 northbound flight were immediately placed in strict isolation in their rooms while contact tracing was conducted,” Agnico Eagle stated. “Mandatory masks and hygiene protocols were followed by employees prior to boarding the flight, during the flight, as well as for the bus transfer to the mine site.”

Agnico Eagle added that the risk of transmission to residents in Rankin Inlet is “very low.” Nunavummiut workers have been off from work since March as a precautionary measure.

If any workers from Meliadine are confirmed as positive for Covid through follow-up testing, it will mean cases of the virus have officially been detected at all three of Nunavut’s operating mines. The Hope Bay mine in the Kitikmeot region has two confirmed cases and seven suspected. The Mary River mine in the Qikiqtaaluk has one confirmed case.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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